Eye Drops for Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration

June 6, 2017

From Lauren Tappan

Lorati Company Limited, a Taiwan-based biotechnology and pharmaceutical company, today announced that it has successfully developed nano-grade eye drops, which can effectively treat and reverse cataract, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.

Lorati CEO, David Lo, said nano-grade eye drops, based on montmorillonite, also known as God’s clay, is believed to be the last-ditch treatment for cataract, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Huge improvement can be seen within one month of treatment by nano-grade eye drops. After being treated for a couple of months, Mr. Lo claims patients with these chronic eye diseases have gradually restored their vision.

Like all claims about eye cures, view this with caution.

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Is Cataract Surgery Safe for Patients With Wet AMD?

January 24, 2016

The following is from Amer Journal of Ophthalmology. 2015;160:487-492.e1

This retrospective cohort study examined patients with active wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) who underwent cataract surgery.

The study found no significant difference in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) between the two groups during the presurgery portion of the study. After cataract surgery, the surgical group had a significant improvement in BCVA compared with the nonsurgical group.

This study concludes that patients with stable disease may be candidates for cataract extraction. They probably will not have a worse outcome and, in fact, will have improved BCVA after surgery.

The authors expressed caution in adopting their findings for all wet AMD patients. Cataract extraction ought to be limited only to patients with stable disease—a safe strategy considering that outcomes after cataract surgery in patients with wet AMD are still debatable.

Cataract surgery increases quality of life in AMD patients

January 2, 2016

A study in Optometry & Vision Science finds that patients had a history of advanced AMD and age-related cataract and underwent cataract surgery had positive results. At 3 months postoperatively, best-corrected visual acuity and utility value using time trade-off method were compared prior to surgery.

“Usually, surgeons and patients were pessimistic about the outcomes of cataract surgery in patients with coexistent advanced macular degeneration, and the present study could provide valuable references for them as to whether to perform the surgery from the aspects of visual acuity, quality of life and health economics,” the researchers wrote.

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Lanosterol Eye Drops could reverse protein aggregation in cataracts

July 27, 2015

The human lens is comprised largely of crystallin proteins assembled into a highly ordered, interactive macro-structure essential for lens transparency and refractive index. Any disruption of intra- or inter-protein interactions will alter this delicate structure, exposing hydrophobic surfaces, with consequent protein aggregation and cataract formation. Cataracts are the most common cause of blindness worldwide, affecting tens of millions of people1, and currently the only treatment is surgical removal of cataractous lenses.

Researchers at University of California San Diego have identified lanosterol as a key molecule in the prevention of cataract formation that points to a novel strategy for cataract prevention and non-surgical treatment. The abstract is freely available fromNature. If you have cataracts, you might want to purchase a full reprint while you can still read it.

Similar eye drops have been used to treat cataracts in Europe for many years.

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Consumer Reports gives clear advice on glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration

May 11, 2015


The only way to cure cataracts­—a clouding of the lens of the eye that impairs vision­—is with surgery to replace the bad lens with an artificial one. Though the procedure is very safe and effective, some doctors recommend needless tests or push newer types of lenses that pose risks.

Skip unneeded presurgery tests

Cataract surgery, usually performed as an outpatient procedure, requires only a local anesthetic to numb your eye. Research shows that for most people the only pre-op requirements are that you be free of infection and have normal blood pressure and heart rate. Yet many doctors routinely order other tests, including blood counts and electrocardiograms, as would be necessary before a major procedure. That’s overkill, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). Those tests can come with high co-pays and lead to false alarms that may delay surgery or force you to undergo additional tests, such as a chest X-ray or ultrasound. So ask whether your doctor plans to recommend such tests and, if so, whether you can skip them.

Be wary of premium lenses

In standard cataract surgery, doctors remove the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial, monofocal lens, which provides clear images at either near or far vision. There are multifocal lenses that do both, so you don’t also have to wear glasses.

But multifocal lenses cost up to $4,000—and usually aren’t covered by insurance. More worrisome, a 2012 review found that while the lenses provided better near vision, they also produced more complaints of halos and glare. Other research shows that people with multifocal lenses are also more likely to need repeat surgery.

One time you might consider a premium intraocular lens: if you have an astigmatism, or an irregularly shaped cornea. Special lenses, called toric lenses, can correct that problem, says David Sholiton, M.D., an ophthalmologist at the Cleveland Clinic. And studies reveal that most people who get them are satisfied. But you will probably have to pay $1,000 or more out of your own pocket, because insurance rarely covers them.


More than 2.2 million Americans have glaucoma, but only half know it. That makes screening important. Treatment is key, too, because glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. But treatment, which often requires several different daily eyedrops, can be expensive and complicated.

Get the right tests

Glaucoma often goes undiagnosed because it causes no symptoms until vision declines, at which point treatment no longer helps. So people ages 40 to 60 should consider being examined by an ophthalmologist or optometrist every three to five years; those over 60 need an eye exam every one to two years.

Know you may need more than one test

Though many eye doctors screen for the disease with tonometry—a test that measures eye pressure—that’s not enough. Relying only on intraocular pressure when screening for glaucoma could miss up to half of all cases, research suggests, says San Francisco ophthalmol­ogist Andrew Iwach, M.D., a spokesman for the AAO. So the exam should also include an ophthalmoscopy, which involves examining your optic nerve. If you have elevated eye pressure but no other signs of glaucoma, you may not need to start treatment, which can be expensive. Instead, your doctor might screen you more often.

Go for generics

The most common treatment for glaucoma is eyedrops known as prostaglandin analogs (PGAs), which lower eye pressure. Generic versions of most of those drugs are much cheaper than the brand-name versions. And per­haps because of the lower cost, patients taking them tend to do a better job of using the drops on schedule, which is important, according to an April 2015 study in the journal Ophthalmology.

Know you may need more than one drug

Many people need several drugs to control glaucoma, which usually means adding a beta-blocker drop. In that case, ask your doctor about drugs that combine medications, minimizing the number of drops.

Use proper eyedrop technique

Tilt your head back and pull down the lower lid with your finger to form a pocket. Hold the dropper tip close to the eye without touching it, and squeeze one drop into the pocket. Close your eye for 2 to 3 minutes, tip your head down, and gently press on the inner corner of the eye. Try not to blink. If you need more than one drop in the same eye, wait at least 5 minutes between drops to let the first drop absorb.

Macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in the U.S. for people 50 and older, damages the macula, the small area near the center of your retina, causing vision loss in the center of your visual field. The advanced disease comes in two main forms: dry AMD, the more common variety, which is treated mainly with dietary supplements; and wet AMD, the more serious form, which requires monthly injections from an ophthalmologist with one of three drugs. There are controversies about both the supplements and the drugs.

Get the right supplement

Research funded by the National Institutes of Health has shown that a specific blend of vitamins and minerals known as AREDS—vitamins C and E, plus copper, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc—cuts the risk by about 25 percent that dry AMD will progress. “It’s really the only treatment,” says Neil Bress­ler, M.D., chief of the retina division at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

But not all eye supplements contain the proper formulation. In January 2015 CVS was sued for incorrectly market­-ing its Advanced Eye Health supplement as comparable to the formula used in published studies. And in an analysis of 11 eye-health supplements in the March 2015 issue of Ophthalmology, only four contained the right mix: PreserVision Eye Vitamin AREDS Formula, PreserVision Eye Vitamin Lutein Formula, PreserVision AREDS2 Formula, and ICAPS AREDS.

Be wary if your doctor suggests a genetic test to determine which supplement is best for you. Remember: Those supplements have only been shown to help treat people diagnosed with AMD. Don’t bother taking any supplement with the hope that it will prevent the disease.

Consider inexpensive drugs

Each of the three drugs used to treat wet AMD—aflibercept (Eylea), bevacizumab (Avastin), and ranibizumab (Lucentis)—work equally well in slowing vision loss. But Avastin costs just $50 per month, compared with $2,000 for the others. So experts recommend Avastin as the first choice for most people with wet AMD. But some doctors resist that advice.

First, Avastin is officially approved only as a cancer drug and doesn’t come in appropriate doses for AMD. So doctors need to get the medicine from a compounding pharmacy, which combines, alters, or—in this case—repackages ingredients. That poses some risk of contamination, and there have been reports of people being harmed by bacteria that got into Avastin. So some doctors, especially those without access to a reliable compounding pharmacy, may hesitate to prescribe the drug.

Some other physicians may have a financial reason for skipping Avastin: Medicare reimburses doctors less for it. That might help your doctor’s wallet, but it can hurt yours: People without sup­plemental Medicare may pay up to $400 out of pocket for Lucentis, compared with just $10 for Avastin.

Our advice: Consider Avastin, especially if you don’t have supplemental Medicare coverage. But ask whether your doctor’s compounding pharmacy is accredited by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board, which means it must adhere to quality standards.

Symptoms of Cataracts

April 28, 2012

Only an eye care professional can diagnose cataracts, but it may be time to schedule an eye exam if you notice any of these common signs:

  • Blurry or fuzzy vision
  • Trouble seeing at night
  • Double vision (single objects appear as two)
  • A glow or halo effect around lights
  • Changes to color vision (colors are less vivid, maybe brownish)

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Preserving your Vision at the People’s Pharmacy

May 14, 2011

Dr. Robert Abel, Ophthalmologist, was the guest on the People’s Pharmacy on Staurday, May 14, 2011. It was Show # 813, Preserving Your Vision.

Most of us take our vision for granted until it starts to give us trouble. Dry eyes can be a consequence of too much time in front of a screen. Are there other lifestyle factors putting us at risk for vision problems?

Cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration are major causes of vision loss. What can we do to prevent their development?

Guest: Robert Abel, Jr., MD, is an ophthalmologist with Delaware Ophthalmology Consultants. His books include The Eye Care Revolution and The DHA Story and most recently the novel Lethal Hindsight. His website is www.eyeadvisory.com

He gave excellent advice on Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, eye nutrition and Cataracts.

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. Podcasts can be downloaded for free for six weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.